Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Continuing Legal Education Requirements for NY State

When you work at a law firm, you are likely to rely on the CLE coordinator to keep track of your Continuing Legal Education requirements.  There is at least one expert to explain how new attorneys have to comply with the transitional legal education requirements (live attendance, number of hours per type of CLE, etc).

Newly admitted attorneys must complete at least 16 transitional CLE credit hours in each of the first two years of admission to the Bar, as follows:
Category of Credit Before first anniversary of admission During second year of admission
Ethics and Professionalism 3 3
Skills 6 6
Law Practice Management and/or Areas of Professional Practice 7 7
TOTAL 16 transitional CLE credit hours 16 transitional CLE credit hours

The first set of 16 transitional CLE credit hours must be completed by the first anniversary of admission to the Bar, in the designated categories of credit. The second set of 16 transitional CLE credit hours must be completed between the first and second anniversaries.

If you're struggling to decipher the requirements on your own, it's best to go direct to the New York State Unified Court website's section on CLE requirements for attorneys.  The FAQs are quite clear and a phone call will usually dispel any lingering questions.

FAQs for newly admitted attorneys -
FAQs for experienced attorneys -

I received the reminder of the CLE requirements 1 month before the end of my compliance period. I knew that I had more than enough credits, but I wanted to make sure that I was counting the period properly.  My birthday is in Dec. I was admitted in January 2006. You have 30 days from your birthday to send in the compliance report.  I was confusing the deadline - did I also have 30 days from my birthday to comply with the CLE requirements?  I called to ask -and if you have questions, you can either email or call (212) 428-2105, or toll free from outside of New York City at 1 (877) NYS-4CLE (697-4253).

To determine which months are covered for my latest CLE period,   here's how we figured it out.   First, recall whether the year you were admitted was an even year or odd year.  If you were admitted on an even year, then your compliance period ends on an even year, if an odd year, then an odd year.  Experienced attorneys have 24 months from birthday to comply with the CLE requirement of 24 hours (4 of which must be Ethics).   So, since my birthday is Dec 19 and I was admitted to NY in 2006, I have to make sure that I took 24 hours of CLE from Dec. 20, 2008 to Dec. 19, 2010 AND that 4 of those 24 hours were Ethics CLE.  

It turns out that it's not that hard to figure out the compliance period - but it helped to be able to talk to someone and make sure that I had it right. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Highland Hellcat by Mary Wine

Highland Hellcat
In Highland Hellcat, Mary Wine introduces the three Chattan daughters. The romantic lead is the third daughter of Laird Chattan - the daughter promised to the Church at birth and raised to be self-sufficient, independent and to do without praise.  All her life, her family and clan have been careful not to spoil her - she's rarely complimented, always worn white and rarely given physical affection all to get her ready for the spartan existence expected of nuns.

But when her eldest sister elopes with a Douglas, her sister's betrothed retaliates by taking Laird Chattan's third daughter.  Suddenly, Brina goes from the soon-to-be bride of Christ to the heavily guarded soon-to-be bride of Laird Lindsay.  

Connor Lindsay is tall, well built, blond, and accustomed to hardship.  His parents weren't wed when he was born and he had a difficult childhood.  By the time he was finally recognized as Laird, his character was set.  Much like Brina, he was raised not to complain and to look to the good of the clan before his own personal wants.  The alliance with Laird Chattan brings him the backing of two strong clans and he can't afford to lose his Chattan bride.  Connor admires Brina's filial devotion and her desire to obey her father's will. He also respects her honesty, integrity and commitment to the Church.   But he's noticed that she's spirited and beautiful and would make him an ideal wife.  He's not willing to give her up. 

In Highland Hellcat  Mary Wine delivers a delightful period adventure with romance, humor, and adventure.  It's a fun, satisfying read!

ISBN-10: 1402237383 - Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (October 1, 2010). 352 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Mary Wine is a published author in romantic suspense, fantasy, and Western romance.  Her interest in historical reenactment and costuming inspired her to turn her pen to historical romances. She lives with her husband and sons in Southern California where the entire family enjoys participating in historical reenactments.

Blog Tour & Giveaway of Sins of a Highland Devil by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

I was excited to learn about Sue-Ellen Welfonder's new Highland Warriors trilogy. The first in the series, Sins of a Highland Devil (Highland Warriors) came out on Jan. 3, 2011.

Sins of a Highland Devil (Highland Warriors)

The blurb:
The king has ordered three clans to battle to the death: The one left standing will reign over the Glen of Many Legends.  James Cameron, known throughout the Highlands as "The Devil," leads his men with ruthless determination.  He knows no weakness -- until a headstrong, flame-haired beauty from a rival clan tempts him to abandon his ironclad loyalties.

Catriona MacDonald's past encounters with James have proved that ladies who play with fire can get scorched.  But her brush with this devil leaves her burning to feel his touch once more, even though the fierce warrior is her sworn enemy.  Now "The Devil" must fight for his family, his honor, and his very life. . . even as he surrenders to his desire to possess Catriona at any cost.

Sins of a Highland Devil lays the foundation for what will certainly be a fun romantic trilogy.  We meet all three romantic leads and each character comes across distinct and clearly different from the others. 

I admit that I particularly like James Cameron with his longstanding "feud" with the young and feisty Catriona MacDonald.  Their shared highland pride and the unreasonable demands of the Stewart king make them natural allies, even if they allow the longstanding feud to stand in their way.   Full of humor, intrigue, action and romance, Sins of a Highland Devil had me chuckling.  It was  a fun read - and very hard to put down!

ISBN-10: 0446561789 - Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Forever; Original edition (January 3, 2011), 400 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of her publisher:

Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a card-carrying Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent (free) trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty year career with the airlines.  Bi-lingual, she flew international all those years, working her flights as foreign language speaker.  Her flying career allowed her to see the world, but it was always to Scotland that she returned. 

Now a full-time writer, she’s quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee.  She spent fifteen years living in Europe and used that time to explore as many castle ruins, medieval abbeys, and stone circles as possible.  Anything ancient, crumbling, or lichened caught her eye.  She makes annual visits to Scotland, insisting they are a necessity as each trip gives her inspiration for new books.

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies: the MacFie Clan Society and the Clan MacAlpine Society.  In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs.  She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a four-hundred-and-fifty year old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

Sue-Ellen is married and currently resides with her husband and Jack Russell Terrier in Florida.  Readers can learn more about her and the world of her books at:

To enter please tell us about your favorite romance novel or romantic hero.

1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
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The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on February 7, 2010.

Thank you so much to Anna, Forever and Hatchette Book Group for generously sponsoring this giveaway and this review opportunity!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

For Condos & Coops in NYC, it's annual notice time

New York City Apartment Management Checklist, 2007

I'm on the board of our self-managed condo in Brooklyn and one of the first things that our lawyers suggested was that the board invest in Apartment Management Checklist.  We have the 2008 version which came with a CD with the various forms that you need, a summary of the various inspections, notices, and requirements that need to be complied with set forth by month.  

We're getting our annual notices ready to distribute by the January 15 deadline - the Lead Paint Notice, Window Guard Notice and the Fire Safety Plan.   Some of these forms can be downloaded from the website.    If you need any of these forms, shoot me an email.

Blog Tour & Giveaway of How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling

In the mood for a romantic comedy or a light romance?  Do you sometimes watch The Bachelor on tv?  You'll want to check out Vicky Dreiling's How to Marry a Duke.

How to Marry a Duke 

The blurb:
Tristan, the Duke of Shelbourne, is a man with a mission: find a wife he can tolerate as long as they both shall live.  Love is not necessary -- nor desired.  But how to choose among a dizzying array of wealthy-yet-witless candidates?  Hire London's infamously prim and proper matchmaker:  Then pretend she's not the most captivating woman he's ever met...

Helping a devilish Duke create a contest to pick his perfect mate is the sort of challenge Tessa Mansfield relishes.  Her methods may be scandalous but she's determined to find the notorious bachelor more than a wife--she'll bring him true love.  Yet when Tessa watches the women vie for the Duke's affections, she longs to win his heart herself.  And after a stolen kiss confirms Tristan's desire, Tessa knows she has broken a matchmaker's number one rule:  never fall in love with the groom.

I know I've been gushing about books lately, but How to Marry a Duke is such a fun read.  Just to prove it to you, here's  a passage I particularly liked:
"Suppose you were competing with another man for a girl's affections.  The other gentleman brings flowers and sends poetry. What would you do to top him?"
"Shoot him."

I guess you have to read it in context.  But How to Marry a Duke combines two romantic leads that have spent much of their adult lives adhering to duty and sacrificing for their families.  The matchmaker is now one of the wealthiest women in England and doesn't want a man dictating her life. The Duke has decided to outsource the search for a bride to a professional -- he doesn't just want a pretty face, he wants someone intelligent, independent and rational.  And he's drawn to the curvy matchmaker.  When he finds himself urrounded by twenty-four of the most accomplished and eligible young women  and their mothers, the Duke realizes that the "confidential" search for his Duchess has taken a very strange turn.

Contests, quizzes, essay exams, interviews -- the matchmaker and Duke come up with all sorts of ways to find the perfect match.  And Dreiling takes full advantage of the situation.  How to Marry a Duke   had me chuckling and crying.  It's thoroughly enjoyable and I'm glad to be able to give away 3 copies of the book.  Check down below to join the contest!

ISBN-10: 0446565377 - Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Forever; Original edition (January 3, 2011), 432 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:

Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble.”

When she’s not writing, Vicky enjoys reading, films, concerts, and most of all, long lunches with friends. She holds degrees in English literature and marketing. A native Texan, she shares her home with her daughter and a spoiled mini-lop rabbit that lives in a slightly gnawed cardboard cottage.


To enter please recommend a romance novel that you particularly enjoyed. Share the title, author and what you liked about the book.

1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on Feb. 15, 2010.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kathryne Kennedy's Beneath the Thirteen Moons

If you're in the mood for light romance in a fantasy setting, I'd recommend Beneath the Thirteen Moons by Kathryne Kennedy.
Beneath the Thirteen Moons
The blurb:
He's a ruler in a divided world...In a magical, watery world of the Sea Forest, the divide between the rules and the people is an uncrossable chasm.  Handsome, arrogant price Korl Com'nder has lived a life of luxury that is nothing more than a fantasy to the people he rules.  Until the day he is accidentally kidnapped by a beautiful outlaw smuggler and is forced to open his eyes to the world outside the palace walls.

She's an outcast, but at least she has her independence...Mahri Zin would stop at nothing to save her village, and when they needed a healer she didn't think twice about kidnapping one.  But when she realizes that the healer she so impulsively stole is none other than the crown prince of the Sea Forest, Mahri knows that she has a chance to change the fate of her people...

Romance novels are a bit silly and Kathryne Kennedy isn't afraid to take risks.  If you're willing to dive into this world where magical powers exist and can be harvested, harnessed through the consumption of special rare foods -- which somehow reminded me a bit of Dune -- and join Mahri as she navigates dangerous waters under time pressure to bring the healer to her village,  you'll find Beneath the Thirteen Moons a light, fun escape.  The attraction, the gentle banter, the obstacles and unusual characters combine to give an engaging and satisfying romance.  

ISBN-10: 1402236514 - Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (December 1, 2010), 384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Kathryne Kennedy is an award-winning author of magical romances.  She's lived in Guam, Okinawa and in several states in the U.S. and currently lives in Arizona with her family. She welcomes readers to visit her at